Modified DJI Agras
Drone on Drone - Zanzibar
Filming the preparation - Zanzibar
Training new drone pilots
Spraying the rice paddies
DJI – a long-standing client – asked Film Fixers to project manage an anti-malaria campaign. Teaming up with Tanzania-based Flying Laboratories, and Dutch partners, DJI provided and adapted the Agras crop sprayer for an innovative project – using drones to target-spray identified locations as aprt of an initiative to combat the massive malaria pandemic. The Agras drones sprayed Aquatain – a silicone-based liquid which formed an incredibly thin layer over standing water. The beauty of Aquatain is that it has no taste or odour, and has no toxic properties at all – it provides a purely physical action (as opposed to chemical) by preventing pupae and larvae from attaching themselves at the surface while attempting to breathe, thereby causing them to drown, and trapping mosquitoes on the surface – thereby killing them.
The objective was to film the pilot project – using the Agras drones, as well as Inspire 2 drones filming the action – as well as a ground crew catching the action as well as filming interviews, press conferences etc. Worldwide media were also invited to the launch, with all major global media houses attending.
The pilot project took place in Zanzibar, with the support of the Tanzanian government. Zanzibar has extensive rice paddies inland, and malaria is a major contributor to death and illness on the island.
The filming and ancillary activities (press launches, demonstrations and training sessions) took place over the period of a week.
The first major challenge was getting 13 drones into Zanzibar (Tanzania) – a country that is not traditionally considered drone-friendly. The second challenge was to actually get the permission to fly the drones – something that fell into the ambit of the Tanzanian Military authorities. Lastly, putting together a complex media launch around the pilot project, and catering to the attending media.
The global exposure generated by the project was not only testimony to our efforts, but also to the power of harnessing social platforms like this to contribute to brand building and social cohesion.